Back in August, we got our first glimpse of the updated 2022 Kia Stinger, and we breathed a sigh of relief that the company hadn’t discontinued the model. Now the revised and revitalized 2022 Kia Stinger is arriving in dealerships, adding a more powerful entry-level engine and a variety of updates. And it arrives with the full weight of the Kia brand behind it, even though it is a four-door sedan in a truck and SUV world.
The sporty Stinger, which was first introduced in 2017 for the 2018 model year, serves as a halo vehicle and headlines a car lineup that includes the new Kia K5 (formerly Kia Optima) and the tiny Kia Rio, both of which benefit from styling cues borrowed from their big brother Stinger, Vice President of Marketing Russell Wager says.
And Kia’s foray into electric vehicles, starting with the 2022 Kia EV6 battery electric crossover, was also influenced by the Stinger. We will receive more details about the U.S. version soon.
2022 Kia Stinger Gets 300-HP Base Engine
But Kia has no intention of dropping its car offerings, and this refresh addresses an area that may have held some customers back from buying the Stinger in the past: a base engine that was not powerful enough for a sporty rear-wheel-drive sedan. Those unable to step up to the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6—which continues to be offered with a 3 hp bump and electronic variable exhaust valve for an enhanced exhaust note—were left with the base 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 with just 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
For 2021, the 2.0-liter has been replaced by a 300-hp, 311 lb-ft 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4 that Kia execs say will go from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The 45-hp step-up for the entry model should appeal to more buyers, Wager says.
What the 2022 Kia Stinger does not have is a manual transmission, and there are no plans to add one. The Stinger has an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The rear-wheel-drive Stinger is available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. With the 2.5-liter, fuel economy is estimated at 22 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway (an improvement over the 2.0, actually), and 25 combined for a rear-drive model and 21/29/24 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The V-6 generates 368 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque for an estimated 4.7-second scoot to 60 mph. Fuel economy is an estimated 18 mpg in the city, 25 on the highway, and 20 mpg combined with rear-drive and 17/24/20 mpg with AWD.
2022 Kia Stinger: The $1,995 Difference
Pricing starts at $36,090 for the entry GT-Line. The 2021 Stinger started at $34,135—a $1,955 difference. The GT1 starts at $43,690 and the GT2 starts at $51,290. Both are available with AWD.
Among the upgrades for the 2022 model year: the new Kia logo on the nose, a new Ascot Green exterior color choice, new LED headlights with a more aggressive design, new rear combination taillights that span the width of the vehicle, new 18- and 19-in wheels, and larger quad exhaust tips which required a new rear fascia.
Inside, stitching across the dash and the three lines on the door give the GT more pizzazz. A new 10.25-inch navigation screen is standard, there is wireless charging for smartphones, and the Stinger now gets the Blind Spot View Monitor that provides a live video view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster when activated by the turn signal using cameras on the side mirrors.
More features are standard, and that includes more driver-assist safety systems such as auto emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane keep assist. Other safety features include a safe exit warning, navigation-based smart cruise control that slows the car for a curve ahead, and lane-following assist to keep the vehicle centered.
Stinger Scorpion Special Edition
Coming later this spring is the 2022 Stinger Scorpion Special Edition with unique 19-in black wheels, black fender garnish, black mirrors, a rear spoiler (which for the first time is body-colored), exhaust tips finished in glossy black paint, and carbon-fiber trim on the center console.
Wager sees two tiers of competition for the Stinger. The most direct are the Germans (Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe that is expected back after taking a year off, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class), and Japan’s Infiniti Q50, as well as a second-tier of domestic rear-drive cars including the Dodge Charger, the Ford Mustang, and the Chevrolet Camaro.
The improved Stinger differs from its cousin the Genesis G70, which was also refreshed for 2022, in that the two cars may share mechanicals but were designed for their very different brands. Kia targets young buyers seeking a fun car that also offers value with more standard features such as leather, and the Stinger also differentiates itself with its new I-4. For now, at least. We expect to see the 2.5-liter make its way into the G70 eventually.
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